Ultimate Fighting Championship this week released 16 fighters
from its roster, including world-ranked welterweight Jon Fitch,
according to a Wednesday report.
UFC President Dana White confirmed to MMAFighting.com today that Fitch
was among those let go in the recent culling.
Also released was heavyweight Mike Russow;
light heavyweights Vladimir
Matyushenko and Wagner
Prado; welterweights Jay Hieron,
Santiago, Mike Stumpf
Thoresen; lightweights Terry Etim,
Keith, Paul Sass and
Volkmann; featherweight Josh Grispi;
Tezuka; and flyweight Ulysses
While many of the cuts come as little surprise -- the UFC has long
been known to release fighters after two or more consecutive losses
-- the release of Fitch is somewhat shocking. The 34-year-old
American Kickboxing Academy product has for years been considered
one of the UFC’s top 170-pounders, even challenging Georges St.
Pierre for the welterweight title in August 2008. Fitch was
knocked out for the first time in his Octagon career by Johny
Hendricks in December 2011, but rebounded with a win over
Silva last October. On Feb. 2, he dropped a lopsided decision
to former middleweight contender Demian Maia.